Let’s Talk Food: Food trends for 2021 – Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Let’s Talk Food: Food trends for 2021 – Hawaii Tribune-Herald

With the pandemic changing our lives for most of this year, the food trends for 2021 will concentrate on our well-being. Probiotics that are good for our gut such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and super foods such dark, leafy greens, berries, green tea, legumes, eggs, nuts, seeds, and kefir will all be important to us.

A study showed that 60 percent of the people who are working from home during this period have gained an average of 15 pounds. This is understandable as the kitchen and all the snacks are in easy access, much easier than walking to the break or lunch room at the office.


Breakfast for those who are at home has changed. If you are going to the office, breakfast is often”on-the-run” or something you can easily eat while heading out the door. If you are working at home, you now have more time to have a nice breakfast, like your Saturday or Sunday breakfast or brunch.

We will see more meat-free entrees. Presently, Beyond Burgers is getting to be a popular alternative to beef. We will see more companies creating plant-based “meat” products.

I always loved an alternative to meat and in the past, the only meatless burger available was the Gardenburger, which is now owned by Kellogg’s.

Here’s a copycat Gardenburger recipe:


Serves 4

2 tablespoons bulgur wheat

1 pound fresh mushrooms, halved or quartered

1 cup diced onions

1/2 cup rolled oatmeal

2/3 cup cooked, cooled brown rice

1/2 cup shredded low-fat Mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons shredded low-fat Cheddar cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 dash black pepper

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Non-stick cooking spray

1/4 cup boiling water

1/2 cup water

Stir wheat and boiling water together in a small bowl and set aside until what has doubled in size, approximately one hour.

In a small saucepan, saute mushrooms in a small amount of water until tender, 7 minutes.

Remove mushrooms from pan, cook onions until tender.

Soak oats in water for 10 minutes. Drain excess water from bulgur wheat and oats. Place grains, mushrooms, rice,cheeses and seasoning in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped but not pureed, 4 to 5 times.

In a medium bowl, combine chopped mixture with onions and cornstarch until well mixed.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spray skillet with cooking oil, place it over medium-low heat.

Drop 1/2 cup mixture into pan at a time, shaping into burger bun size patties, about 1/2 inch thick. Brown patties on each side and remove from the pan.

Arrange patties on a lightly sprayed baking sheet.

Bake for 22-25 minutes in the oven, turning patties halfway through cooking time.

• • •

We will see more upcycled foods. I always thought we do not eat enough okara or the soybean curd that is left over from making tofu. The tofu factories here sell them for about one dollar a pound. The rest is sold or given to pig farmers for feed. Renewal Mills is producing a 1 to 1 baking flour made from okara and I am excited to get my hands on it as I bake a lot with gluten-free flour. Just think about the protein in soy flour!

We will see chickpea in other ways beside hummus and falafel. Look for chickpea pasta, chickpea tofu, chickpea cereal and even in frozen desserts

When we think of jerky, we think of beef or fish jerky. We will see mushroom jerky, jackfruit jerky, and even banana jerky.

Just as the “milk” industry exploded with soy, almond, oat, and macadamia “milk” products, it will be the same with the oils. Poor olive oil is going to have to make room on the shelves for walnut oil, pumpkin seed oil and avocado oil. Remember when canola oil was king? Not anymore!

When I was raising my sons, there was only Gerber baby food, so I ground up my own baby food instead. Now there are squeeze pouches with rhubarb, rosemary, purple carrots, and flax seeds; apple, pumpkin, blueberry with ground chickpeas; apple butternut squash with ground oats, turmeric or purple carrots, cauliflower, avocado oil with oregano. All sounds like ingredients for the parents’ meals, which makes sense because parents usually taste the baby food before serving it to their babies.

I am glad to see the food trends looking more healthy!


Two months ago, Taiwan lifted their ban of pork and beef from the USA. This has caused protests in Taiwan over this action. Ractopamine is concentrated in the gastro-intestinal system of animals and the Chinese love dishes made with pig offal.

As of 2014, ractopamine has been been banned in 160 countries, including the European Union, Mainland China, while 27 countries: Japan, South Korea, Canada, Mexico New Zealand, and the United States still feed ractopamine as an animal feed additive to promote leanness in the flesh and increase food conversion efficiency.

Swine’s reactions to ractopamine are hyperactivity, trembling, broken limbs or stiff and sore limbs, and increased heat stress. It is also a factor in the development of downer pigs, or animals that are unable to move or stand.


Will ractopamine become an issue in lawsuits in the future for what reactions and illnesses it causes us like the present lawsuits with glyphosate in Roundup and the incidences of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?

Email Audrey Wilson at

Published at Tue, 08 Dec 2020 10:05:00 +0000

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